tv Politics Public Policy Today CSPAN June 19, 2014 11:00am-1:01pm EDT
effects of this throughout the economy? >> the epa has focused on the impacts in the power sector. >> but throughout the economy. the users of that power. louisiana has $90 billion in announced construction projects involving polymers, petro chemical, gas to liquids, jobs that will create, industry that will create great paying jobs for working americans. have you analyzed the impact on that manufactured expansion base? >> no these jobs are on the bubble. more families will lose their homes and you have not done the analysis. if you call me skeptical, i will join mr. barton and be incredibly skeptical. what else do i have here? i'm sorry if i seem so aggravated. i keep thinking about that family losing their home.
the gasoline has gone up their electricity bill will go down 8%. a coal-fired plant supplies their electricity. this administration is busy saving the earth they are willing to sacrifice the american family. i'm sorry to be so aggravated, but i keep thinking of them and can't imagine the sensitivity of this president and the administration of their polite, but it is evident to see. i yield back. >> recognize the gentle lady of california for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. may i ask permission to include in the record a letter from several public health organizations in favor of this ruling? >> without objection. >> thank you, mr. chairman, for holding this hearing. i thank you, ms. mccabe for being here today and for your hard work on these clean power rules. climate change is a critical issue and it demands action.
epa's clean power rules i believe are a major step forward. climate change are having impact on weather, food, water flies, ocean health and air quality and so much more. my background is a public health nurse. i'm particularly concerned about climate change's impacts on public health. epa's analysis shows there will be significant health benefits from implementing these clean power rules. as i understand it, these health benefits come on two levels. this is what i would like to ask your confirmation on. the primary benefit reducing the greenhouse gas emissions driving climate change and co-benefits reducing sulfur dioxide, nitrog nitrogen oxcides and particulate
matter. some accuse epa of double counting. can you respond at this point, how did epa calculate the health benefits of this rule? >> when we look at the health benefits of any given proposal, we build those on top of the health benefits that accrued from rules that are already on the books. >> right. we don't include those benefits. these are all additive on top of that, incremental. now opponents of these rules frequently cite the cost of compliance as a reason not to pursue them. of course, we have to acknowledge there will be compliance costs. there will also, however, be significant benefits. i would like to argue that the benefits are particularly there for children and for families. >> yes. >> can you add to our discussion here about how the health benefits of these rules compare to the estimated compliance costs? what's that cost/benefit ratio?
>> yeah. and again, the costs that will be incurred by the rule ultimately will be decided by how the states choose to go forward with their plans. in our assessment, we estimate a $7 to $9 billion cost compared to up to $90 billion health benefits. in particular, with respect to the health co benefits, each dollar will generate $7 in health benefits. i should note in response to that and in partial response to the previous question that state programs that will be used to implement these, many of them build in assistance to low income rate payers. those are the citizens and families that are most at risk and most vulnerable to the health impacts we see from air pollution and climate change. >> okay. it is clear that these clean power rules will have some
significant benefits for the american people. i believe they deserve our support. i hope we can find a way to work together to get these rules implemented as soon as possible. i for one don't believe we can afford to wait any longer. there are states like california where i'm from that have seen great economic benefits from renewables and energy efficie y efficiencies as these are implemented, there are cost savings just in putting people to work on efficiencies. and on developing new resources for renewables. can you outline -- there is a minute left, if you would like to use it to outline the economic benefits as these could offset the cost of changeover. >> california clearly has been a leader on renewables and investment energy efficiency. these create good jobs that are localized, jobs, machining,
equipment, installing installation, weatherizing homes, whether it's existing homes or new construction. these are jobs that happen in our communities and result from these sorts of programs. >> thank you. just in the quarter of a minute i have left, you remind me of some programs that went into effect with some of our low-skilled work force during the recession to get them to weatherize and put in efficiency opportunities for some of our low-income housing, reducing energy costs for the occupants of the housing, putting people to work, learning new skills that could continue. this is, frankly, an ongoing process that as technology advances, will it never slow down or stop. thank you for your answers and thank you, mr. chairman. i yield back. >> the chair recognizes the gentleman from nebraska mr.
terry of nebraska. >> i'm humor this is not a mandate. if i live in omaha and have to make it to lincoln a certain time and can only take 45 minutes to get there, that is a mandate. even if you let it up to my own imagination how i get there, it's still a mandate. it's interesting we can play word games, but it's still a mandate and it will have costs. we are a state that is 72% reliant on coal. we are a state where you take six to seven hours 75 miles per hour to get across. so some of this doesn't make a lot of sense, but i have reached out to our major public power entities. we are in public power states, nebraska public power as well as
our national power association and some of our rurals. they are all working together. that's the good news. bad news is they are completely panicked. in how to actually do the plan and how to actually meet the 26% mandated reduction. because we are 72% reliant upon coal. in reaching out to them, they are frustrated and the lack of direction, what they see as conflicting information from the epa on how to move forward. one of the areas they would like nailed down is the percentages for reductions are based on is
it 2012 numbers or 2005 numbers? >> where we look to start to see where states were was the most recent data which is 2012. >> that's the baseline is 2012. why would they get confused about 2005? >> there isn't really a baseline. 2012 is -- >> how is there no baseline? >> it's the starting carbon intensity. the reason they are confused by 2005 is 2005 is a year that people have been using a lot to talk about our progress towards reducing greenhouse gasses. in describing the impacts of the rule, epa compared the reductions that will be achieved into 2030 to that 2005 number. the starting point for this is 2012. >> bottom line then, just like you finished, 2012 is the date that the state of nebraska has to use to calculate how the 26%
reduction, correct? >> that's the date we used to calculate their goal that they need to meet in 2030. >> so again, if they are using 2012 as their baseline to reduce 26%, they are okay with the epa. >> as long as their plan shows they'll get to the goal that is set forth. >> for 26%. >> for 2030. >> by 2030. >> i don't know the target. >> that is the stated reduction that was told to the state of nebraska. is there any flexibility in the states using a different year as the baseline? >> we need to start the states where they are. >> no is a solid answer. that's clear. clear is sometimes good, even if you disagree with it.
if states include a renewable portfolio standard in their implementati implementation, does that make it a federally-enforcible mandate? >> the plans will be federally approved. we actually lay out an extensive discussion on this issue in the preamble. we heard this question a lot. we are looking for feedback how to design that. the plan itself would be enforcible so that to make sure that the reductions would get done. >> i've got four pages of questions from our ndnq power districts, but we'll submit those in writing to you. >> please do. we had a number of conversations with officials from your state. >> i will state for my last few
seconds i spoke with the board of some directors and they said the only conclusion they've come to so far is it will cost them, quote, "a hell of a lot more money." >> you'll have the opportunity to ask more questions. this time is the gentleman from pennsylvania, the manager of the democratic baseball team mr. doyle for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. mc, miss mccabe. pennsylvania generates a significant amount of our electricity from coal. over the last few years, we've seen several coal plants retired in pennsylvania to be in compliance with the map standard. i heard this type of early action will be acknowledged and epa officials said on a recent conference call that it's their intent to credit plant retirements forced by the mat's rule. how will states and generators get credit for plants they
retire or will retire between 2012 and the final rule? >> so anything that a state does that reduces the amount, the carbon intensity of the generation in the state will be eligible to be part of their plan. so if a state is closing a coal plant for whatever reason, and there are many reasons why coal plants are being closed around the country, if that power is replaced with either lower carbon, natural gas or zero carbon, renewables, or not as much generation is needed because of energy efficiency, that will all work to the state's advantage building their glide path towards the goal required. >> but they'll get credit -- we want to make sure we are getting credit for doing the right thing in advance of the final ruling, whatever that final ruling comes out and you are saying that will be the case? >> yes.
can you talk specifically about some of the opportunities my state might have reducing carbon pollution from our power sector. do you anticipate coal will be a big part of our power mix going forward? >> i do expect and we show across the country if coal will continue to be about a 30% share of production, although i don't have the pennsylvania figures in front of me right now, coal-intensive state like pennsylvania, we presume would continue to have a significant amount of its power generated from coal. the targets we calculated, in fact, very much took that existing energy mix into account. we think that pennsylvania, like other coal-intensive states has things they can do. the starting was designed to capture things pennsylvania can reasonably do. >> i want to talk about the flexibility options in this in terms of potential for increased flexibility. my understanding is that
state-specific emission goals were derived from one calendar year of actual operations 2012, which people are calling baseline here. in the past rules, an average of several years were used in order to smooth out any anomalies. it seems a one-year snapshot might yield an inaccurate starting point, if states had several plants or some anomalies existed in 2012 that didn't exist in other years. would the epa be willing to consider more flexibility of sorts like averaging a few years to establish a more accurate starting point or baseline? >> yeah. i know we'll get comment on that issue. it is something we certainly would consider and talk with states about. >> finally, let me ask you about nuclear, too. several nuclear generating stations closed recently. it's common knowledge others are on the bubble. i realize the main culprit is
market conditions. market rules in competitive markets disadvantage base load power including nuclear. can we meet the greenhouse gas rules goals if more nuclear plants close? and since most nuclear plants operate in competitive deregulated markets, did you consider this in your analysis? >> so the nuclear question is an interesting and complicated one. we did recognize what you just reflected going on in the market with respect to nuclear plants. we actually tried to send some signals in the proposal to encourage the retention of that nuclear generation, that as you say, is kind of on the bubble. we like to work with states to see how the plan can help encourage the continued operation of those zero-emitting carbon sources. >> finally, let me ask you about reliability, too. one of the most important duties state regulators have is to
maintain a reliable electric system. that's vital to our economy, obviously. how does the epa's proposal ensure states can achieve carbon pollution reductions while maintaining reliability. >> very good question. one paramount in our minds as we worked through the proposal, also as we consulted with agencies that have this as a chief responsibility. there are a couple of things we think make it clear that reliability will not be threatened. one is the length of time for implementation here. there is a long period of time for people to plan it. the utility sector, this is what they do. they know how to do this. if you give them enough time, they can plan accordingly. the flexibility in the plan, the fact that no particular plant is required to meet any particular emission rate over a particular time period is another way which reliability will be protected. states have the flexibility to plan their resources
accordingly. the fact we have annual averaging periods and longer averaging periods, again, provides a lot of flexibility. if somebody needs to bring a plant up to deal with the short term issue, an annual average allows them to do that without compromising their compliance with their own plant. >> thank you. thank you, mr. chairman. >> recognize the gentleman from texas mr. olson for five minutes. >> i thank the chair. >> i hope you heard about president obama's announcement with cash on regulations. there is a common theme why does the epa want to kill me job? why does the same epa that works for me want to hurt my family? those questions will be answered in november.
i have a few questions you can answer today. the first few follow the example that require a yes or no answer. question one. epa added a grid safety valve the 2012 mercury rule. it was a way to slow implementation if reliability is threatened. now america's impartial grid operator, including the one that keeps lights on at your headquarters asked the staff about a similar valve here. my question is, will you commit to including reliability valve in the final carbon rule? yes or no? >> i can't commit to anything in the final rule we haven't gotten the public comments yet. it's something we will consider. >> it's important ma'am. second question is, epa is justifying these new rules to the public with up to $90
billion in, quote, climate health benefits, unquote. health benefits is an important phrase. according to epa's impact analysis, the vast majority of this rule's benefits come from cutting traditional pollution, not carbon. mostly microscopic dust, pm. we already regulate pm. in fact, you are just now starting to implement a brand-new aimed at air quality standard. my question, yes or no, do epa's national ambit air quality standards fully protect the human health with, quote, adequate margin of safety, unquote, yes or no? >> yes, they do. >> that's what i thought. they comply with the law. second question. in the entire country, we have to comply with the existing pm 2.5 standard the coming years, yes or no? >> i'm sorry? >> the entire country, all america will have to comply with
the existing 2.5 pm standards in the coming years, yes or no. >> that's the air quality standards states need to met. yes. >> states are to meet the new pm rule, yes or no? >> yes. >> okay. that begs the question, your scientists just approved a rule designed to perfectly safe levels of pm. existing rules will protect america's health and then some. yet this new rule says that there will be billions in new pm property beings benefits for the epa to trumpet to the public. does epa give this carbon rule credit for what it is already doing? are you double counting? >> there are two answers to that, congressman. one is that the pm rule just finalized is the standard. it's not the path to get there. so states will need to implement
measures in order to reduce pm to meet that standard, and this proposed plan would be one way for them to do that. so it could be a critical element of a state's pm compliance plan. the second answer to your question, congressman, is scientists show that there are health benefits from reductions of pm, even below the standard. we set the standards to protect from a public health perspective at the national level, but there continue to be health benefits, real health benefits that are experienced by people when those particle pollution levels go down. so it is appropriate, in our view, to reflect the benefits that will accrue from those further reducks. >> i have a memo you put out in december 2012, january 2013. a fax sheet on the pm standard.
i want you to square comments with this language. this is your document. mission reductions from epa and states rules already on the books will help 99% of counties with monitors meet the revised pm 2.5 standards without additional mission reductions. you're already there. why other standards? you said it. you're there. >> these standards are not driven by pm reductions. these standards are driven in order to reduce carbon, which is a climate change pollutant causing significant health and welfare and economic impacts in this country. the benefits we reflected in terms of pm are additional health benefits that will be achieved as a result of implementing this carbon pollution rule, but will be real health benefits that americans will experience. >> gentleman's time has expired.
this time recognize the gentle lady from california ms. matsui for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you for having this hearing today. >> ms. mccabe i want to applaud the administration and epa for this proposed rule to cut carbon from plants. we let power plants release as much power pollution they want. the effects of climate change are being felt across the nation. droughts are becoming more severe which is putting an incredible strain on water supply in california, specifically my district in sacramento, where we have experienced historic drought. from hurricanes to heat waves is hitting communities across the country. we can't wait any longer. we have to do something. in california, as you know, we made great strides with a cap-and-trade program. energy efficiency programs and renewable energy portfolio
standards. nationally, we already made progress moving to cleaner sources of energy and improving the energy efficiency of our cars, trucks and buildings. now epa is setting carbon standard for power plants to protect public health. i support these efforts making our communities and climate a cleaner, safer place. my state has a lot of companies who invest in other states. how will epa determine who gets credit toward xlints in one state or company and clean energy production and other states. epa asked for comment but we are hoping you encourage a fair way of assigning credit. >> we look forward to the public comment on this and discussions with people. basically we start with the perspective of states being responsible for the carbon emissions in their states. we recognize that there are programs like renewable energy
programs where systems are set up so that states or companies will invest in renewable resources that are outside state boundaries. the proposal does contemplate letting those states take account of those investments as part of their plan. >> does california get credit then for energy efficiency programs that deal with imported electricity? >> energy efficiency little bit different than renewable energy. we are focused there in the proposal on energy efficiency that takes place in the state that reflects reductions in use in that state. i'm sure we'll get lots of comment on this issue. we have to be sure you are not double counting but all energy efficiency is being counted somewhere in the right place. >> absolutely. will the epa have ongoing oversight of state plans or multistate plans?
>> like we do throughout the clean air act, we will provide oversight to the state, implementation approval and plans as we do with other states. >> california would have to come under epa's rate-based standards due to programs it has in place. would this affect its reduction targets? >> should work out to be exactly the same. that's the whole point we have a technical support document that walks states and others through how would you do that conversion. >> okay. would california goat credit toward compliance for its new pacific coast collaborative with oregon and washington and british columbia? the leaders of all four jurisdictions agreed to account for the cost of carbon pollution and where appropriate and feasible, leak programs to create consistency and predictability across the region of 53 million people? >> if states choose to join with other states in a plan, they
would be able to pool their resources and pool their targets and put in a joint plan that we could review and approve, that provides a lot more flexibility. those can be very attractive arrangements. >> great. did epa find any parts of the country that don't have the potential to boost their use of cleaner energy? >> no. every state has many opportunities. >> okay. if a state does not comply or create a plan, can it affect a neighboring state's reduction target? >> no. i don't believe so. each state is responsible for its own target. as i said, if they go in on a joint plan with others, then we would look at that as a joint plan. each state is responsible for itself. >> okay. there is an interim reduction goal that must be met by 2020. what happens if a state does not meet the interim standard? >> well, actually the interim standard needs to be met on average over the decade between
2020 and 2029. they can plan that out. they don't have to have a straight trajectory. there are some states know they are going to have plant closures and can do lesson the first part. each state's plan will lay out what it expects to do over that 2020-2029 period and show how it's getting that average. we'll work with the states to help them along the way. >> great. thank you, ms. mccabe. i yield back. >> gentle lady's time expired. this time recognize the gentleman from kansas for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. want to follow up on a question from mr. whitfield. he asked about going on beyond the source and you cited the clean air mercury rule. are there other precedents epa has for going on regulating sources? >> it is focused on the fossil generation. >> you gave him an example where
you've gone beyond the actual source. do you have other examples like the clean air mercury rule, yes or no? >> no. the other are industry-specific like this one is. >> clean air mercury rule, there was nothing outside regulated sources. you could trade amongst them but couldn't go beyond that to compliances as you are proposing here? >> that's right. >> my recollection is clean air mercury rule was overturned. >> not on that basis. >> it's no longer in effect. it's gone. it was unlawful. lawless much like what you are proposing here. yeah. have you met with john pedesta? >> i have. >> how many times? >> i don't recall. >> one time, three times, five times? do you have an estimate? >> does he have a parking spot outside your building? >> it's infrequent. >> how many times has your staff met with he or someone else at the white house on this set of
regulations? >> not to my knowledge, or infrequently. >> has ms. mccarthy met with mr. pedesta? >> i expect she has. >> can you give me the frequency and subject matter of those meetings? >> i will take that back. >> that is not the question. >> i will take the question back. >> great. this is about politics. right? that's why mr. pedesta is working on this. this isn't about law. it's also not about science. i want to turn to science now. i want to make sure nothing changed in your view. you have now 30 indicators, we've gone from 26 to 30 on your website how you measure impact of what you all call climate change today. i want to ask you a series of yes or no questions about this set of regulations, these carbon regulations and what you think they will do to the indicators that epa uses. yes or no. will this set of rules when
fully implemented reduce sea surface temperatures? >> i can't answer that. i don't know. >> will this reduce ocean acidity? >> it will contribute to reducing ocean acidity. >> do you have the data to support that? how much and when as a result of these regulations? >> you can't predict the impact. >> i'll take that as you have no idea. is that a fair statement? you have no data. do you have any science to support the reduction in ocean acidity? >> increased carbon in the atmosphere leads to things like ocean acidity. if you have less carbon in the atmosphere -- >> decreases in lake ice. how much less lake ice as a result of this set of rules? >> same answer. >> you don't know. you can't show me how much less like ice. i would like to see the data. if 2 you are proposing a set of rules, it would seem reasonable for citizens to demand you say this is the impact and this is
what you are going to get in exchange for all the costs we talked about this morning. this is what you are going to get. you will get this much more of something that is really good. >> that's not the way climate science works. >> right. yeah. science used loosely. have you met with ferc in connection with electrical reliability and talked to them about the impact? >> yes. >> tell me about those discussions. are there written materials where ferc provided you written information about the impact? >> i and my staff consulted with staff at ferc. they are part of the review process we go through. they have given us their input on electric reliability. >> do you have their -- when you say their input, is there a memo? did you just pass in the hallway and talk? >> no. >> there's got to be a written document. >> i don't believe there are written documents. it was more than passing in the hallway.
we had discussions. >> they were just discussions as something as critical as electrical reliability where we have such a radical rule. you didn't demand saying tell us what you think in a formal scientific matter? let's sit at a table and talk about it? >> we had substantive discussions with them. >> mr. chairman, i yield back. >> gentleman yields back. i recognize the gentleman from new york for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chair. welcome. thank you for your work on epa's clean power plant. the president and epa are doing exactly the right thing by placing limits on the amount of carbon pollution that can be emitted from power plants. climate change is a serious threat as we all know. we cannot address it without addressing the biggest source of carbon pollution in the united states. in the two weeks since the released of the proposed rule we heard a lot of attacks on the clean power plan. i want to give you a chance to clear up some of these misunderstandings. one of the claims is no one goes
to the hospital for breathing in carbon pollution so there can't be any real public health benefits from eliminating carbon pollution. can you explain how this will help protect the public health from the effects of conventional air pollution and carbon pollution? >> yes. thank you. people do go to the hospital for breeding issues and other ailments caused or exacerbated by air pollution. this rule will, by reducing both carbon, but also other ancillary pollutants emitted by coal fired and other fossil fueled power plants will reduce the amount of air pollution in the air. that means fewer asthma attacks, fewer visits to the emergency room, fewer premature decembers and fewer heart attacks resulting from exposure to those pollutants. >> there is talk about the impact modest income households. i can tell you representing households that saw their life savings washed away when their homes were totally destroyed is
an effect that is never totally recovered. so the inaction here can be very expensive. we heard repeatedly that the clean power plant is a heavy handed attempt by epa to regulate the power system and tell us how renewable energy they must achieve. this charge must be particularly frustrating for you. as i understand it, the proposal is designed to offer flexibility as you mentioned today. it sets a target but left to individual states to choose how to achieve it? can you respond to this misrepresentation of the proposal? >> yes. it's absolutely left to states. we know that states will pick and choose the things that make the most sense for them. if energy efficiency is where they want to put their investment they have the ability to do that. if investing in their existing coal-fired generation to make it as efficient as possible is where they want to put their investment, the plan allows them to do that. >> thank you.
administrator mccabe, i'm sure you are aware new york is a member of the nine state compact of regional greenhouse gas initiative in the northeast. our nine-state coalition agreed to a cap on carbon pollution and regional trading market for carbon pollution credits. revenue from the sale of those credits allowed us to fund a wide variety of initiatives including efficiency and renewable energy, training for jobs, new jobs in clean energy, transitioning of jobs and support businesses and initiate plans for climate adaptation. in short, these states accomplished much already. in fact, since 2009, the nine-member state compact has had an emission reduction by 18% while our economies grew by 9.2%. by comparison, the emission in the remaining 41 states of our nation saw emission reduced by
4% while their economies grew by 8.8%. so the track record is not intimidating, it's actually quite rewarding. it's appears to me what states are doing is consistent with epa's proposal. the states in our coalition are on their way meeting your proposed target. is that the case or are we go going to have to rework our initiatives? >> that is the case. the approach these states have taken is one approach states can choose to take. as you say, has been very beneficial to those states and workable. >> i appreciate that. i was involved in the early discussions about the formation and implementation from my seat. i heard many states with the same claims to threats to reliability and affordability of electricity, job losses and predictions of everything short of returning to the days of reading by candlelight. it didn't happen. i won't say these aren't challenges. there are challenges, but they
are manageable. the effort is yielding significant benefits for public health and the economy. ms. mccabe, opponents of action to address climate change say requiring coal-fired power plants control their carbon pollution is part of a war on coal. is the clean power plant going to eliminate the use of coal? >> absolutely not. coal will remain roughly 1/3 of our power supply in this country in 2030 under this proposed plan. >> my time has been exhausted. i will yield back and thank you for, again, appearing before us today and offering clarification. >> this time is the gentleman from virginia mr. griffin five minutes. >> representing a coal district where lots of jobs have been lost and more expected to be lost because of these rules we feel like we are under attack from washington, d.c. if it's not a war, it sure is something close to hell. thank you. that being said, it's my understanding, if i could get yes or no answers, i appreciate it. you are a lawyer by training, is that correct?
>> i am. >> it's also my understanding the attorney general of west virginia patrick morrissy wrote a letter regarding these rules. under the plain reading of the statutory language of section 111-d found in the u.s. code, epa has no legal authority to regulate co2 emissions from power plants under 111-d. in particular 111-d provides if epa is already regulating a source, the epa cannot establish standards under section 111-d for those same sources. isn't it true that in 2012, epa started regulating power plants under section 112 under its mercury and air toxics rule? yes or no. >> we did issue a regulation under section 112. >> under the plain reading of
the u.s. code, by the way plain reading of the legislation reported from this committee and law enacted by the house and senate, this decision by the epa to regulate under 112 foreclose the ability to regulate greenhouse gasses under section 111, isn't that correct? >> that is not correct. >> you base that upon your new understanding that the epa takes the position that they don't read the provisions of the u.s. code literally because there was a technical conforming amendment including the 1990 clean air act amendments you all assert creates ambiguity in what is the law or about what the law is, is that your position, ma'am? >> this is not a new interpretation. this is an interpretation the agency took in 2005 also in the clean air mercury rule that that reading of the statute. >> and do any of the following still work for the epa, carol holmes 0, howard j. hoffman or
wendy o. blake? >> yes. >> the court made an error when it said your position was the opposite of what you said? you reference new jersey versus epa, 2008 opinion, for all lawyers listening in, 517 f 574 -- "this requires vacation of cameron's regulations of new egus. ega promulgated, but the own interpretation of the section cannot be used to regulate sources listed under section 112, epa thus concedes that egus remain listed under section 112 and camera regulations for existing sources must fall. epa promulgated the regulations under section 111-b on the basis there would be no section 112 regulation of the egu emissions and new source performance
standards would be accompanied by a national emissions cap and voluntary cap-and-trade program, end quote, from the opinion you just said where your people argued the opposite. the court seemed to think they argued what i think. that is you don't have authority if you regulated greenhouse gasses under 112. you don't have the authority on greenhouse gasses regulating the existing coal fired power plants, you don't have authority under 111. how do you reconcile those two? your thought this was your position before and now finding that your lawyers previously argued the opposite, at least if the court is not mistaken and i note the case was appealed on other grounds but was not granted. >> the cammer decision was based on a different basis. decision to vacate the rule. >> i understand that. you just stated here today that this was not a new position for the epa because of this case. this case says the opposite. how do you reconcile that? >> i'm not intimately familiar
with the court decision s you are reading. we'll be happy to respond to this. >> i appreciate that let's talk about good basic lawyering then. i've been around the process. you've gone to law school. you understand when a bill passes and this committee does it all the time when we say our chairman will say, closes by saying the staff can make technical conforming amendments, what the epa is hanging their hat on is a skriber in's error that was a conforming amendment. you are saying a skriber in's error should trump the law of the united states? really? with your background and education, i would expect a better argument. thank you very much, mr. chairman. i yield back. >> i recognize the gentle lady from florida. >> thank you. i think it's heartening america is moving forward to tackle the challenges of the changing climate and carbon pollution.
we are already making great progress when it comes to the cars we drive. and fuel efficiency. we have reduced emissions substantially and put money back into the pockets of american families. that's been very positive. then look at what's happened with the appliances in our homes. they are more efficient than ever. we can do even better. the building codes are better. the new technology is out there. you can control with your smart phone what is going on in your own home and save money that way. again, the new technology is improved by leaps and bounds. this is part of the american ingenuity. we'll bring that to tackling carbon pollution from the largest emitters. back home, all i have to do is look around the tampa bay area on top of the huge ikea store. we've got large solar rays they are saving on their electric bills. the largest beer distributor in
the area has a major warehouse. they said this makes sense for us to put solar panels on the roof. our local governments have done it at court houses. there is a corresponding benefit we have created jobs in clean energy and created new businesses, and we are boosting small businesses all across my community and all across america. so now comes this other important piece in the climate action plan. focused on the largest sources of carbon pollution. when you reviewed the proposed rule by epa, i think the hallmark of it is the flexibility granted to the states. it says by the year 2030 states will have to meet these overall pollution reduction goals. now, some people have expressed to me, madam administrator, that
the rule grants too much flexibility. a state like mine, the state of florida at the state level, we don't have much state leadership right now, surprisingly. the state, i would argue, could be the most impacted by the changing climate. leaders at the state level have receded from energy efficiency standards, we don't have renewable goals at all. some folks say, gosh, couldn't the epa have done better setting targets on energy efficiency and renewables? i mean, mr. barrow, georgia is producing more solar power than the sunshine state. that's pretty ridiculous. point of pride for you in the peach state but not so much from the sunshine state. but there is progress at the local level. in my home county in hillsborough county, they have a waste energy plant that's been expanded, they are getting greenhouse gas credits.
st. petersburg is a leader nationally in what they are doing in lighting, solar power, eliminating methane and waste energy. here is a question. what will states be able to do to harness the improvements at the local level? it's not just local governments. it's nonprofits and businesses. how will that count towards our goal, our state goal of reducing overall carbon pollution? >> this is a great point. i think there is something like 1,000 mayors across the country that pledged to address carbon emissions in their cities. it's just so encouraging and so positive. the way these programs will fit into a state's plan is that any measure that helps the state reduce the amount of energy it needs to produce from its high carbon sources will be able to be counted in the state's progress towards their goal. these programs, weatherization programs, building efficiency programs, they all will be able
to count. >> but you have to have a state organization that will be able to bring all of that data together, isn't that right? >> the state government is responsible for the plan under the clean air act as they always are, and they know how to do these things. we are working with the state agencies. they are definitely thinking about how they will do this and asking lots of questions. i think they have the opportunity to work with their mayors and their utilities and their local businesses and utilities to make sure they know what's going on. >> it's really a call to action to everyone. we all have a responsibility to do this. i think there is a great potential for cost savings for consumers. it's interesting that you've identified a potential for reduced electric bills because of energy efficiencies. if you can serve, you save money. one of the problems is state incentives do not encourage
energy efficiency and conservation. hopefully, we can do better there, don't you think? >> we think states will find energy efficiency is a very positive program for them to invest in, as some other states further along that path have found. >> as some other states have found. >> thank you very much. >> at this time i recognize the gentleman from texas, mr. burjs for five minutes. >> thank you. i appreciate you having the hearing. appreciate our witness being here so long with us this morning and your forbearance through our questions. i think it was mr. barton who asked a question to which you responded that there would be an 8% reduction in electricity prices in texas. did i hear that correctly? >> electricity bills. we predict that bills will go down. this is a national average. >> can you provide us with the formula and the data that you put into the formula to come up with that -- that answer? >> sure. that's all laid out in our regulatory impact assessment and
the attachments in the records. i'll be happy to point you to where that is. >> you also say in your -- you said in your opening statement that we'll avoid 100,000 asthma attacks under these rules. can you tell us since the passage of the clean air act, i wasn't here then. that was before the earth cooled the first time, it's been so long ago, but how many asthma attacks have been prevented under the clean air act? >> i don't know that figure, but we'll be glad to get you some more information on that. >> does this figure of 100,000 include those asthma attacks that would have been avoided simply because of the passage of the clean air act? >> these -- the health benefits that we predict from this rule are associated with the pollution reductions that are required by this proposal. >> well, now you say pollution reductions but of course this all was predicated on the
endangerment finding for carbon dioxide and now carbon dioxide has become the regulated pollutant. >> that's correct. >> so is regulation in the atmosphere of carbon dioxide going to result in 100,000 fewer asthma attacks? >> the asthma attacks that we associate with this rule are due to reductions in other pollutants that will happen as the carbon is also reduced. >> can you provide us with the journals that back up the 100,000 figure as well as the reductions that you're asserting? >> we'll be happy to where in the record we lay out our expectations -- >> i'm not really interested. what i would like to see, are there publications and refereed journals that will attest to this fact? the ones that i have been able
to find really are rather nebulous about the finding that reduction of carbon dioxide means a lower number of asthma attacks. >> well, we'll be glad to follow up with you. >> and i mean, i brought my harrison's principals of internal medicine and i don't see carbon dioxide listed as a trigger for inciting reactive airway disease. >> let me clarify because i think i didn't quite see where you were going. so there are certain air pollutants that are clearly associated with exacerbation of asthma attacks. the impacts that we're seeing from climate change also can create conditions in which asthma can be exacerbated. >> ma'am, may i stop you for a moment, because you seem to conflate climate change with carbon dioxide.
my understanding of the purpose of this rule was because of an endangerment finding from carbon dioxide and the asthma reductions that you're asserting in your testimony this morning are as a result of reductions in carbon dioxide. >> no, that's not correct. let me be really clear. the endangerment found that eadministrations of green house gases including carbon dioxide created adverse impacts to public health and welfare and that's through a variety of impacts that a change in climate has. increasing heat, increasing -- >> can i stop you? because of time considerations. but those are relatively nebulous. when i review the literature i don't see the -- i mean, this is a fairly assertive statement that you have made for the record here in your opening statement. i don't see the data to back that up. i would just ask that you be careful about the language because the language -- i think i see why that language is being
used. but i don't think it's fair. to use that. and i think, you know, we're oftentimes accused of using fear to motivate people to be against some of these principles, but here i believe you're using fear, like who wants more asthma attacks? no one. but your assertion that asthma will be reduced by 100,000 because of reductions of carbon dioxide in the rule that you promulgated as a result of a court opinion, i'm sorry, it doesn't follow. >> well, if i can be really clear then. the health benefits that we describe as a result of this rule, the asthma attacks in particular, are the result of the reductions in other pollutants that will happen in -- accompanying the reductions in carbon. >> why haven't you reduced the other pollutants? why did it take this activity to motivate the epa to reduce those
other pollutants if it was within their power to do so all along under the clean air act? >> epa and the states have been reducing pollution and it's made a lot of success along the way. this is an additional program that will result in additional pollution reductions and there are real health benefits associated with those. >> gentleman's time has expired. >> i have additional questions, i will submit those. >> we have other questions, we'll have some more hearings. at this time i recognize the gentleman from georgia, mr. barrow, for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you, ms. mccabe for being here. i'm in a lonely place and the only honest place to be in this town, but you be the judge. i accept the scientific evidence of a climate change. i accept the scientific evidence in the common sense that tells me if you take all of the carbon
that god put down on the ground and belch it into the air we'll have an impact on the climate sooner or later. but i reject previous legislative attempts to address this problem and i don't accept and don't agree with the current administration's efforts to do this by regulation. mainly because i don't think they'll work but they'll definitely hurt. they don't work especially when you -- whether you consider an isolation or against the back drop of what's taking place in the rest of the world. i think we need to take another approach to this basically and the debate between those folks who say we need to put mandates out there in the hopes that technology will arrive on time to the rescue and invest in technology i'm firmly in the technology first camp. i don't i this we're doing that with these regulations. you talk about a number of things that we're doing that some folks are doing, we ought to use those tools we need to be. like making coal plants more efficient. shifting from coal to natural gas. talk about more renewals. and consumer efficient. nowhere do i hear you talking about shifting from coal to nuclear. of the existing technologies
nuclear can provide significant base load capacity with zero emissions. my question is, does shifting from coal to nuclear count, should it count? >> it should and it does. and we -- >> in georgia, and in south carolina, we're the only rate payers making significant investments in shifting from coal to nuclear. in plant vogel we're adding the next generators to come on line in this country. vogel 3 is going to come on line in 2017 and 4 is in 2018. how are they going to get counted of getting down to 891 pounds per kilowatt hour? >> when they're produced by a nuclear plant with zero carbon and they replace megawatts produced by a plant that emitted carbon, those will be counted for the state. and they will help it get towards its final goal. >> so you're telling me in the time between these come on line in 2017 and 2018 the reductions
will be counted toward the goal of getting 891 as the adjusted average? >> they will and with those plants as part of georgia's base and how they produce their power, it will help address t the -- achieve the carbon intensity goal, absolutely. >> let's put this in context. in 2005, georgia -- tillsties were -- utilities were belching the amount and we got down to 1500 as of 2012. so in the seven years between 2005 and 2012 we have already achieved a 25% reduction. now, against the president's goal, of achieving a 30% reduction for 2005 to 2030, how come we haven't already gotten there? why are we required to cut it from 1500 down to 891 in 2020 and 834 in 2030? >> well, each state is in a different place. and they have made different progress.
but what we did in our rule was we looked at these reasonable and existing technologies that people can use. and how much more is reasonably able to be done -- >> my point is we're already achieving a 25% reduction in our shifting from coal to natural gas. one of the tools in the tool box you say we've got. we have plans to shift even more from coal to nuclear in 2017 and 2018. we have achieved 25% of the starting goal of reducing what we're producing in 2005 to 2030. why do we have to cut it in half even further? >> this rule was not set up to achieve a specific goal of reduction. that's not the way it works. it was set up to look at what the available technologies are and for each state that results in a different trajectory and a different ultimate goal. >> but we're utilizing two technologies. one you specifically list and one you haven't listed. shifting from coal to nuclear. we're already most of the way there. let me put it another way. it makes no sense to me that a
little itty bitty state like wyoming will be held to belching 1,700 pounds while a big old state like georgia is required to belch out no more than 834 pounds of co 2 per kilowatt hour. it makes less sense like allowing south dakota to do 783 pounds in 2030 and a big old state like texas has got to do no more than 700 something. that makes no sense to me in whatever you want to do. whatever the existing technologies and that's a problem i've got with the whole approach. >> we'd be glad to spend more time and explain how those targets got -- >> it will take a while to explain it. thank you. ma'am. >> gentleman's time is expired. the gentleman from west virginia, mr. mckinley, five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i'd like to try to keep this issue in perspective. maybe we have to get back up to 30,000 foot level to look at this. because, you know, according to the epa's own website, it says
that 82% of all man-made co 2 comes from areas outside the united states. so to me it's kind of ludicrous as we have this discussion to think that we're going to improve -- we're going to have health benefits to america and we're going to start reversing the climate change when 82% of those contributing to co 2 are except around the world. it just -- i can't think of any other way that we're going to make this policy work than by engaging the rest of the world into this discussion. but this experiment that he wants of 30%, it doesn't seem to be working. if we go back to the kyoto protocol, it called for 5.2 reduction in co 2 emissions but by the end of that protocol, the globe it already had increased
by 10%. it just ignored what was being documented. so while we want to experiment, while this administration wants to experiment by reducing 30% the international energy agency has -- is already predicting by 2030 the rest of the world is going to be producing 40% more co 2 around the world. while we're experimenting with reduction, the rest of the world is not following our lead, going to 40%. just consider china and india alone. with this chart, you can see that this is -- this is what they're going to be doing. over this time period. china is going to be introducing 557,000 more gigawatts of coal fired -- india 519,000. in that time period by 2030, china is going to increase their co 2 output by 60% while we're decreasing 30%. india is going to increase by 50% their co 2 at output, while
we're decreasing our 30%. this administration just seems to be ignoring that china -- china burns more coal than the rest of the world combined. and no one is following this lead. we seem to be operating in a vacuum. just recently, the epa -- former administrator lisa jackson said u.s. action alone will not impact world co 2 levels. do you agree with that? >> i -- >> yes or no? >> i'll take your word she said that. >> and just yesterday, epa -- former epa administrator said absent action by china, brazil, india, what we do will not suffice. >> i don't think anybody disagrees that action is required by many countries to address climate --
>> so with these regulations, we're ignoring the global reality that the rest of the world is not following us. we're going to affect our american economy. we're going to put it at risk with already the numbers are predicting anywhere from 9 to $40 billion annually we're going to pay for this experiment. we're going to be increasing our utility bills and putting americans out of work. we're going to disrupt or manufacturing base. we're ignoring the advice of our predecessors with epa over this thing. so i'm going to ask you quickly, a year from now, if china and india and japan have not reduced their co 2 emissions will you withdraw this regulation? >> we're not -- >> just yes or no? >> no. >> okay. how about two years from now, if no one is following will you withdraw it? >> congressman, this rule -- >> is that a no? >> i can't -- i can't speak to what -- >> i'm saying in the final rule then, since you mentioned it earlier, you said that it's not
final. final language has to be worked out. so will you agree to insert metrics into this? engineers, we deal with metrics. we want to see how you measure success. so you put into the final bill a metric that says that if america's economy is tanking because of this, or the world isn't following and they're continuing to increase their co 2 emissions this will void this rule? just a yes or a no? >> i don't believe that would be an appropriate thing to do under a clean air act rule, congressman. >> so again, trying to paint the final picture as we go with this. this experiment in working separate from the rest of the nation, kind of -- you yourself have mentioned efficiency. as an engineer i agree with you about efficiency. but when i think of it comes to mind is someone insulating their home and then opening all the windows.
what have we accomplished with this? we're not working in concert with the rest of the world. they're not following us. for us to expect to have benefits from something while 82% of the rest of the world are exempt from this is ludicrous. -- i have -- my time is expired. i hope we can hear more of a dialogue. >> i'd be happy to. we're not ignoring other countries and we have many activities focused on -- >> you and i both know they're not joining us. >> [ inaudible ]. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i want to welcome and thank administrator mccabe for joining us here and for your testimony. i want to give you a chance to perhaps answer some of the things -- questions that mr. mckinley asked because there are a couple of arguments that we hear over and over again from those who oppose u.s. action on
climate change. first, they say this is a global problem so why should the u.s. act first and secondly, they say even if america acts it's not going solve the problem any way, because other countries are going to ignore it, so why bother? as far as i'm concerned there's no question that climate change is a global problem and it demands a global solution. that doesn't mean we wait for other countries to act first. to the contrary, i would say that progress on big global problems almost always requires the united states' leadership. i don't think anyone would claim that the world will meaningfully slow climate change without u.s. leadership and action. i wanted to give you a chance to answer some of the specifics because it's hard when you have to answer just yes or no to say what you really feel. >> yeah, i appreciate it, congressman. i agree with the way you characterized this. there's no question it's a global issue, there's no question that countries beyond the united states are going to have to take action. this is the case with other
environmental problems in the past. i also agree and the president agrees that the united states has a responsibility to act here. both because we are a significant contributor, we're the second largest -- i believe contributor. and because we are a world leader. and we work in the international community with other countries, with china, with india, with other countries. and we're working with them to get them to look at similar sorts of approaches. so that we can together address this global environmental problem. >> so on the specific issue of climate change, can you tell us why american leadership is particularly critical on this -- on this particular issue? >> well, it is -- the global impacts of climate change affect us here in the united states. they affect our citizens and our families. and so we have a responsibility to do everything that we can to encourage and work with other countries to have them take the
kinds of steps that we ourselves are showing we have the leadership to take here at home. >> also, as you mentioned the united states is the -- one of the world's top emitters of carbon pollution and in order to be a credible negotiator, i think we need to be able to urge and push other countries to do more. we need to take action ourselves. you know, walk the walk. not just -- >> that's correct. >> not just talk the talk. how will epa's actions to cut carbon from power plants in particular influence the direction of international negotiations on climate change? >> it's having an impact. when we meet with other countries in these discussions to see that a major world-leading economy is putting its money where its mouth is so to speak and taking affirmative steps to address carbon. and so that shows that it can be done. it shows that a country has moved forward in that regard and that puts pressure on other countries to do similar or
explain why they can't. >> now, power plants are the largest single source of our emissions and the source of huge emissions worldwide and so obviously to be credible we need to address power plants and by doing so, we can help other countries understand that it can be done. i would assume you agree with that statement? >> i do agree. by moving forward with our power company, we can be on the forefront of technologies and the types of methodologies that we can then help of countries with which will benefit our manufacturers and innovators here at home. >> let me ask you about it, i want to give you a chance to enhance your statement. when those who oppose actions say that this rule won't solve the problem so why should we bother, why should we bother? >> it's an extremely important step to help solve the global problem for the united states to move forward with a real meaningful reductions in carbon. >> so i would just like to say
and i assume you agree and tell me if you do, no single action to reduce carbon pollution will ever stop climate change but will never address this problem without many individual actions so these actions do add up to a meaningful difference. >> that's correct. >> okay. thank you. thank you, mr. chairman. >> chairman yields back. thank you. now recognize the gentleman from pennsylvania, mr. pitts, for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. madam administrator, many coal-fired power plants have spent millions of dollars to comply with the epa's final mercury and air toxics rule. despite the retrofits many of these plants would operate significantly less or potentially retire under epa's proposed rule which contemplates greater utilization of natural gas.
my question is how does the proposed rule prevent the problem of stranded assets? in other words, for coal plants that have made millions of dollars of investments to be compliant with mats, but may not be able to meet the requirements of this rule, there are plants in my state that have spent hundreds of millions or even billions of dollars to comply with the mercury and air toxics rule. do generators and their customers and their investors just have to eat these costs? >> it's a good question, congressman, and hopefully i can give you a couple of answers to its. so one way in which we anticipate -- anticipated avoiding this kind of situation is providing a very lengthy trajectory for compliance. so going all the way out to 2030, that gives utilities the time to do two things. one is to plan carefully so that
the plants in which they have made significant investments they can get all of the value out of those investments. also, to -- to make sure that their fleet is being managed over time. the other thing is we're -- the coal fired fleet this this country is aging as i'm sure you know. right now half of the plants are in their 40s, i think. and 10% or so are 60 years or older. so there's a transition going on in the industry already. quite apart from mats and quite apart from this rule. and the flexibility that this rule provides will allow states to focus on and utilities to focus on investing in the plants that have a long life ahead of them and make the most sense in order to continue to be key parts of the portfolio. and perhaps no to invest in the oldest plant where it doesn't make much sense to put economically money into them.
so this avoids those kind of situations which is a very important thing to do. >> in your calculations, and in developing the rule, did you take into account the loss of jobs as a result? did you quantify these as to the impact by state? >> well, again, as i said before, since the states will ultimately decide exactly what their plans are, all we could do was to do some illustrative examples and in our regulatory impact assessment we did look at the potential job losses and job gains associated with the rule. that's all laid out there. >> now, under the proposed rule for existing power plants, epa is requiring that each state develop a state implementation plan. and to submit it to epa for approval. what if a state chooses not to participate? would epa impose a federal implementation plan in that
regard? >> the clean air act does provide if a state doesn't submit a plan that epa would do one. i will tell you we're not focus on that right now. we're focused on making sure the states understand the opportunities for them and we're confident that states want to be in the lead in this program. >> we saw that many states didn't want to establish their own programs to implement obamacare. and trying to implement that at the state level. if epa were to impose a federal implementation plan in the state, what does epa envision that plans would look like? >> we really haven't thought that through. and any proposed federal plan we would go through a public process to get people's views on that. >> would you take over energy planning for the states and decision making like about their electricity mix? would you take over planning of electric rates for consumers? >> no. congressman, our job is to look at the emitting facilities, the coal-fired power plants and look at ways to reduce the emissions from those power plants and any
proposed plan would be squarely within our authority. >> all right. combined heat and power facilities are efficient. what has the epa done to prevent them from being swept into the 111-d rule? will you take measures to ensure they're not adversely impacted by this proposal? >> combining power is a very efficient way of generating electricity. those kind of facilities will be helpful to states in putting their plans together. >> my time has expired. thank you, mr. chairman. >> gentleman has yielded back. we now recognize the gentleman from illinois, mr. kinsinger, for five minutes. >> thank you. thank you for being here on a long day. the epa is recognizing the past and i believe they've tried to recognize the current rule that retaining nuclear power generation is a cost efficient means of reducing carbon. i appreciate that. as we unfortunately witnessed in
wisconsin eight years of carbon emission reductions brought about by the construction of renewable energy were wiped out with the closure of single nuclear reactor. i think it's important to talk about this, given the nuclear runs around the clock without producing carbon. understanding the current outlook on the nuclear industry, i have some concerns with the direction our regulatory agencies have been taking in regards to allowing them to operate. and would like to ask you a few questions on the epa's outlook for nuclear power going forward. in past models of climate change compiled by your agency, major questions surrounding the power has been raised. does the epa still consider these to be a major area of uncertainty? >> i don't know that i can speak to that, congressman. we recognize that it's an important aspect of clean general running game and as i said before, we have tried to
signal in the proposal an encouragement towards retaining existing and we know that new is being planned an built. that has squarely will be advantageous to a plant. but we recognize that there are existing challenges beyond our control for the industry. >> and i understand that the proposed rule relies on eia study that the shows 6% of the nuclear fleet being at risk, but they're still expected to continue their operations going forward. in addition to this, economic modeling of eia and others is consistently showing that dramatic growth in nuclear energy is necessary to reduce carbon emissions and that constrained development of nuclear energy dramatically increases the cost of compliance. what will happen if the epa's assumption that the plants currently at risk will continue to operate if that assumption is incorrect? what will happen? >> it depends on what the state would choose to do to replace the nuclear generation. so we hope and expect there are opportunities for states to go with lower or other zero emitting generation renewables
and rely -- >> like a ton of windmills or something, right? >> there's a lot of wind power being built in the country. a significantly a growth area. and energy -- >> takes a lot of wind though to replace a nuclear power plant. >> it does. >> does the epa have the legal authority to compel those plants to continue their operations? >> not that i'm aware of. >> do you know does any agency currently have that authority? >> i couldn't speak to that, congressman. >> okay. in some recent modeling down by epa determined that 44 new reactors would be necessary to satisfy performance standards based on the lieberman-warner bill from 2008 and an additional 96 gigawatts of nuclear power capacity would be needed by 2030 to meet standards set out in another proposed piece of legislation from '09. does the epa believe we can make meaningful reductions in carbon dioxide emissions while still
ensuring reliable and affordable power without substantial growth in nuclear power generation? >> well, i do and i'll note that the -- that our proposal here is not legislation like you have described. it takes a very different approach which is what is reasonable to expect the existing fossil plant to do and for states to do to reduce the carbon intensity. so it takes every state where it is. so if we see nuclear coming on the ground, we consider it. we're not counting out, we're not assuming other nuclear construction does not already contemplate it. >> do you know -- under the proposed rule, do you know how many new nuclear reactors will be needed to meet those standards? >> i think we are aware of maybe five that are under construction now and so we took account of those. we didn't take account of others that aren't yet built. >> okay. in the end, currently there's
eight licenses under review by the nrcc right now. i want to reiterate that 100% is carbon free. and not only will every plant be necessary to ensure compliance with any future mandates, but many more will need to be brought on to ensure affordable and reliable energy is throughout the country. we want to talk about affordable and reliability we need a lot of nuclear power plants to come on line. thank you and i yield back. >> all right. in closing, let me note that the committee has outstanding document requests relating to our investigation of the epa's adherence to the policy act of 2005. and its rule making for new plants. it has been four months since we initiated these requests but the epa has been decidedly slow in the document production. can you tell me who at the epa is accountable to the committee for responding to the requests? >> the agency will respond ear working on them. we have responded to various requests and responses are underway.
>> all right. and will you commit on behalf of the administrate their the epa will produce outstanding documents and fully comply with the request? >> i won't make a commitment on behalf of the administrator, but we'll do what we need to do to be responsive. >> will you commit have your staff work with our staff to ensure the committee has what it is determining is necessary? >> again, we will do what we need to do in order to be responsive. >> thank you. we will have questions for the record forth coming. i would ask that you provide your responses in a timely fashion, particularly this is on a fast track with the administration. will you commit to providing us responses to these questions within 60 days? >> i -- right now, i can't commit to a time frame because i don't know how many questions there will be or what will be involved. but we will do our best to be as expeditious as possible. >> all right. with that, i want to thank you for being here today.
a reminder you can watch today's entire hearing along with epa administrator gina mccarthy's announcement from earlier this month. it is all available on our website, c-span.org. coming up shortly at about 12:30 eastern time we'll take you to the white house where president obama is scheduled to deliver a statement on the situation in iraq. we'll have that life for you on c-span3. we invite you to join the conversation as well, give us your reaction to the president's remarks on facebook at facebook.com/c-span. or on twitter using the #c-span chat. later this afternoon, also at the white house, the president will award retired corporate william kyle car pent we are a
medal of honor. he's the eighth living recipient to be chosen for the medal of honor for actions in iraq or afghanistan. we'll have that ceremony for you live, also here on c-span 3, it starts at 2:15 eastern time. meanwhile, back on capitol hill, house republicans today are holding their party's leadership elections. this coming after majority leader eric cantor's primary defeat last week. kevin mccarthy of california is facing off against idaho congressman raoul labrador. the elections will be conducted by secret ballot with the winner needing a majority of the republican caucus. that is scheduled to begin at 2:00 eastern time. c-span cameras are there outside the doors and we'll bring you results and any action as it becomes available. now you can keep in touch with current events from the nation's capital using any phone, any time. with c-span radio on audio now. call 202-626-8888.
and every weekday, listen to a recap of the day's events at 5:00 p.m. eastern on washington today. you can hear the public affairs programs at sunday at noon eastern. c-span radio. long distance or phone charges may apply. a live look at the white house briefing room where the president will deliver a statement shortly an the it is -- on the situation in iraq. we'll have that live for you when it gets started on c-span 3. we invite you to join us as part of the conversation, give us your reaction to what you see the president say about iraq. you can join the conversation at facebook at facebook.com/c-span or at twitter, use the hash tag #c-span chat. we plan on taking your phone calls after the president speaks.
again, the president is scheduled to have a statement on iraq in a few minutes. we'll have it for you live when it gets started here on c-span 3. in meantime, a look at the upcoming midterm elections and look ahead to the 2016 presidential campaign with democratic and republican pollsters. >> good morning one and all. so this -- we have two of the
great political minds with us today. bill mcinturff, peter hart. we are the only three who saw the eric cantor defeat coming. we didn't want to let anyone know until it happened. but that's our pride of place. bill, i'm going to turn to you first and go kind of micro here. the eric cantor defeat, none of us saw it coming. it was one of the rare shocks in political life. does it mean anything? can we extrapolate significance from it? >> absolutely. i'm sure you'll -- yes. it does. it has enormous bearing on the republican caucus. it has therefore bearing on legislative policy in the house. it sort of kills any movement in terms of should we pass anything related to health care, should we do immigration. none of that will happen. it will also have -- it will also in the house also mean the leadership fights which are also
significant. it's to me also a reminder that when you have bad numbers like this, weird things happen. and lastly, senator mcconnell is a gifted politician, he's in an anti-obama state. he's a leader and lastly, we have lots of governors who are in trouble. it's a reminder you have a ticked off electorate and despite the fact that i think this will be a very republican year, we're going to see a few more weird things because that's what happens when people are this unstable. >> quickly, burden he bears on mcconnell, what's the corollary between cantor and mcconnell? >> it means he's a long-term legislative leader who represents the u.s. congress. and he has the advantage of leveraging the anti-obama sentiment in the state. but it's -- it's a reminder, he has his own kind of -- his own
sort of anchor he has to deal with. i think the cantor thing is a reminder of how a -- how an opponent could crystallize that kind of perception of that anti-congress perception and wrap it around one particular person. >> peter, we spent a lot of time talking about certain ghosts in the republican party -- you're democratic pollster so i'm sure that's favorite topic. when it comes to the cantor defeat, what do you extrapolate from it? >> okay, a couple of things. first of all, i know it's confusing. you look at bill, you see this tie and you say, oh, my god, he must be the democrat, you look at me you see this sort of conservative tie. i must be the republican. no, i'm the democrat in this crowd. so to straighten everyone out. but let me just start and put it away in terms of cantor or any incumbent of that nature who loses a primary. they lose for only one of three reasons. they lose either because they're old, they lose because there's a
scandal, or they lose because -- because they have essentially become out of touch. and that is i think what happened to eric cantor in this situation. and the point that i would build from for bill -- from bill's thinking is what we have been seeing in the nbc/"wall street journal" poll. that is that given a choice, 60% of the american public would pull a lever that would take every single member of congress out if they could do so including their own. so if there were that opportunity, and if there were independent on the ballot, you'd get somewhere in the neighborhood of 1 in 4 saying i vote for the independent. essentially, the american public is looking for way to be able to say, i want to get rid of these guys. these guys they don't like, i don't think they represent us. we hate washington. and cantor was just the easy point that was there. and bill's point about
mcconnell, mcconnell has never been loved in kentucky. so he doesn't have that kind of personal esteem. he probably has the challenge that cantor has in his own way. >> so i'm not opposed -- we're going to poll you. if you get your pads out, we can ask the first audience response question. coming up, how would you describe america's military and economic future? our best days are behind us, still to come or the jury is still out. i want to talk about the basic numbers s the country on the right track or the wrong track? we have an historic crossing point around 2004, i believe, where we became essentially a wrong track nation when we went out and they went out to poll, people began to say in large numbers that the country is on the wrong track. it stayed that way ever since with a few dips here and there.
but pretty wide margin that we're on the wrong track. bill, i'll go to you first. are we a wrong track nation now? how would you explain this sourness? >> usually it's economic based. now we have taken the great recession and we've combined it and the great recession reshaped our attitudes to where we're no longer convinced that america is the greater power in the world and that our children will have a better future. it's a big deal. we had right direction went up during the tragedy of 9/11. so we saw it like when we captured saddam hussein. the killing of osama bin laden was a very transitory. and we are a long, long way away from the public feeling good economically. and so this very long period of wrong tracks is going to continue. so will this disruptive politics and it will take a sustained economic recovery to get people back on track. or some terrible episode that
none of us would want to happen, that kind of triggers that sort of american pride reaction. but failing that, we're quite a long way away from having a strong enough economic recovery to get this country feeling good again. >> briefly the numbers on the next generation being worse off than ourselves. you know, peter, you can talk about this. i mean, that's a real scar and a real change from what is the core attitude and belief of the american public generally, historically. >> well, here's the point. for 13 generations, we have always handed the baton forward. we have always believed that the next generation will be better off than our generation. for the first time in the history, we believe that the next generation is going to be worse off rather than better off. the plurality is about i think 20 points in that neighborhood. the second thing is we asked the question for nbc and "the wall street journal" that goes back
to 1995. looking at the generation ahead economically which country around the world will be the best off? and obviously, we put the united states, china, japan, e.u., et cetera. and at that stage of the game, 54% of the american public said the best off would be the united states, 3% said china. when we did it a year or so ago, it was even up, 48% said united states, 40% said china. to reflect bill's point economically and psychologically we see tougher times ahead rather than blue skies. >> you can see the results of the poll which are actually quite interesting. only 16% think our days are best days behind us. a lot of ambivalence -- >> -- earning statement on behalf of the audience here. >> yeah. jury is still out. let's talk a little bit about november. not so much -- well, we'll do a
tiny bit of prediction. we have seen interesting wave elections over the last decade, where big changes have come in to washington. you know, washing out a whole bunch of people out of the house or the senate. bringing in a bunch of new people. change of control. do we see anything at all like that building, looking towards november? >> it's not a classic wave. in the classic wave election you have extraordinary intensity of interest. turnout of the opposite party. you have really almost always incredibly clearer signals. we don't have those signals. i don't see it as a classic wave. we have a really strong republican year. republicans are going i believe to pick up the seats in the house. i think the senate could easily turn republican. i think republicans will have legislative seats. but the kind of '94 or for the democrats, '06, '08, 2010, i don't see the numbers. they're too unhappy with everybody. but here's again -- i tell
people the secret strategy for republicans was lose every single election in the senate of 2008. and the point to remember about the senate, the secret strategy for the democrats in 2016 they lost every single senate seat in 2010. and holding the senate -- i mean, people haven't talked about it, but it's difficult for republicans in a presidential year. >> before i get to you, peter, let's -- if we can go to the next response question. i think this kind of points to the federal government is -- what it is for good or ill, a fixable force for good and an irreparable force for the good or all of the above? it's probably not to your standard. kind of along these lines, will anything, peter -- no matter what happens, will anything be markedly different next year when these people whoever they are come in to congress or will we basically be looking at something quite similar to what
we have now? >> i think it will be depressing in terms of how we come out of this election. it won't be uplifting. it won't be something that will galvanize us in a positive way. i mean, election night is going to be a one story election. and this is, can the senate return to the republicans majority? and you look -- the republicans have seven seats that they have aimed at, all red states where democrats are either retiring or democratic incumbents are under challenge. the republicans do well there, that makes them in very good shape. then you've got six other states that are blue states where democrats are defending. and they're in tough races. so the republicans have a lot of opportunities. the one thing that may be interesting will be mississippi. if mississippi -- thad cochran loses, it will be another tea
party victory, but that tea party victory in '10 and in '12 turned into losses in the general election that could happen again in 2014. >> let's talk about a guy who has not come up so far i don't think. his name is barack obama. not great numbers at the moment. what do the last two years look like for him, bill? >> i think the president is already in some so many ways surprisingly just not in the picture. i don't think he's particularly effectual. i think it's underrecognized how little clout and power he has and what little standing he has. his numbers are quite low with the american public. and he's -- and this is what happens to incumbents. i mean, we have benghazi, then we have the v.a. scandal. then the prisoner exchange. and we had the irs lost, you know, two years of e-mails. story after story after story that make it very difficult for him to talk about anything else.
and when republicans do pick up seats in the house which i believe or they get control of the senate, that lack of clout that he has will be very exposed. so again, failing some dramatic military intervention or some episode, he has -- he's in a very difficult position. having said that, you can never underestimate the power of an american presidency and at the end of the term there tends to be a little bit of a lift. as people look back and kind of try to put him in historic perspective. but i think -- i think that failing an episode -- some huge episode, the essential elemental force of his presidency is dissipated and kind of gone. >> two points i have to make. i'd love to be the democrat jumping up and being a huge cheerleader. but reality strikes in this case. i think the worst part for the president is the events are controlling him rather than he's controlling the events. we have only gone through five months of this year.
and you talk about all of the things that bill mentioned and you add in ukraine, you add in iraq, you add in everything that has been happening. every event has controlled him, rather than he's been controlling the event. and if you look, we have been doing something over a long period of time which is looking at how people feel about him personally, how they feel about him professionally. in terms of his job performance. when he entered his second term, he had the wind at his back with way more people thinking that they were applauding his both personal and professional rating. at this stage of the game, it's turned around. so on a personal basis, he no longer has that same kind of strength that he had where people say, i love him, i really respect him which always was reagan even during his worst days of iran/contra.
at this stage of the game the president has to be able to re-establish himself and it leads to the other thing which is you have hillary clinton out there and that sort of puts in a whole brand new story. and it makes it that much harder for the president. >> so i want to play a little bit of the game here. i think god created the world in six days, you're going to create the ideal democratic and republican candidate in five minutes and 30 seconds. both of you are sort of mind readers. in this case we're going to be political gods. bill, you have a mound of clay from scratch. you can create the ideal candidate for 2016 on the republican side. i'm not talking about a name. i don't want you to name candidates. i want you to formulate what that person looks like. >> i still want to be bound by reality, but the democrats have carried 18 states for 24 years in a row with 242 electoral votes. that's on a hundred yard dash, you're at the 9 yard line.
those states are in the east and in far west and some of the midwestern major states. number one, i would love to have someone who is from one of those states, like you need to disrupt the map. number two, i desperately would like somebody -- we have by the way, public opinion strategy, a lot of great u.s. senators who may run, but i'm saying ideally i'd love to have somebody not from washington, d.c. i would love a governor and contrast he or she what they accomplished in their state versus the dysfunction in washington. and i think the third thing is that the president -- president obama ran saying we're going to break the red/blue division, we'll get things done. that's not a promise that i think was kept. and it's not what happened. and i think that people are so tired, they can't imagine why we can't keep fighting when the
country is in this kind of trouble. my ideal candidate would be pretty powerfully trying to find a way to tap into that sentiment and demonstrate some track record of the capacity to work across the aisle and get things done. >> before i get to you, peter, mild, gentle, centrist type, bill or polished type? >> i think there's for the people here. when ralph nader's become good friends with grover norquist on the anti-tax and they have become buddies and ralph nader writes about the growing right-left continue yum against corporate power, that's a consequence here. he spent a lot of time with ralph nader talking about -- again, we need to understand that part of the basis of cantor was his bailout vote, his stuff for wall street. we need to understand the power that has. so -- but here's the other thing in our party and the republican party. every primary, there's a
woman -- elizabeth -- former nbc director, our good friend, she tracks every single political ad. every single ad. people are running for city council are running anti-obamacare spots in the republican primary. you have to demonstrate your capacity to stop the obama agenda. but at some point you have to govern. that's what people are looking for. >> you have two minutes and 39 seconds to create the ideal democratic candidate. >> i'll make it shorter than that. i'd like somebody with the experience of hillary clinton, the charisma of bill clinton, the oratory skills of barack obama and i think most important has an economic program that shows the potentiality for growth, the sense again to be able to work with both business and across into the democratic lines. but the point that bill makes is
the most important point. democrats have for the last 24 years carried a slew of states as he says about 90% of what's needed. any democrat has to be able to continue to do exceptionally well with minorities, has to be able to do well with young people, has to be able to do well with women. democrats have a major advantage and until the republican party finds a way to be able to reach those groups either through immigration or through some element on the choice issue they have to be able to break thro h through. it can't be the old republican party gives the democrats too much of an advantage. >> does this person have at least a dollop of elizabeth warren in them? >> i would say a very, very, very small dollop. i mean, the -- from my point of view, the thing that you have to understand about elizabeth warren is what bill was just
saying. and that is there is a sense that very low confidence whether it's wall street, very little sense of confidence in terms of the business community. all of those elements and the public is looking for a way to be able to balance that. and that's the thing that happens to be working for elizabeth warren. >> 40 seconds left. name a state that will surprise people by going red in 2016. 30 seconds. >> iowa. i think iowa. >> iowa? what would be a state that goes blue next? doesn't have to be 2016, but will surprise people. >> georgia. >> georgia. >> well before texas? >> texas will be reliably blue, but it will take another generation to get there. >> so georgia sooner than that? >> uh-huh. >> all right. >> questions? from the audience.
>> does the inability of the current two-party system to effectively compromise create an opening for the introduction of a third party? >> it never does. >> i mean, bill and i have been on a jag together which is really saying, look, the american public is so unhappy. give them some alternative and they will go for it. i honestly believe that if there were space on the ballot that said for the voters, call it a broom coalition, i want them all out. if you had that, i think people would punch it to a large -- to a large extent. and from my point of view, the potentiality is there, i don't have the name, i don't have the way in which it comes together. but i think there's a lot more togetherness with the right and
the left in certain areas than we think as we look at individual issues. >> can we pause one second? we do have one more question, i that will be maybe -- >> are we publishing this? >> publishing? we're tweeting it. when it comes to the recession and recovery sense and the federal government may matter the worse, made matters better, didn't matter much. bill, third party? >> yes, i would like peter's ideal candidate. but it's sort of like, you know, i saw your cfo, coo, there are no ideal coos, these are real people with pluses and minuses. and we kind of pick that person. an independent party needs a democrat to nominate, someone to the left of hillary clinton. they need someone to nominate well to the right of our last
two nominees. and if that happened, i believe there's room in the middle, and then thing that used to be the barrier, which is money, the internet has replaced that be barri barrier. what there has not been was a candida candidate, but peter and i were saying, look at these numbers, look at these numbers. somebody should run in the middle of this. if it's senator clinton and a conservative like mccain or romney, each party sucks the middle out. but the odds of being, right now, i know if you ask people, would you vote for republican, democrat, or if you could, would you vote for an independent third party? the answer answer is a third, a third, a third. that's where we are as a country. it's a country that would love to have an option, if one existed, and again, going back in history, perot, if perot in 1992 had paraded the perot party
and followed candidates over in 1994 and ran as a perot candidate, that would have had fundamental impact because it would have forestalled republicans winning congress because those votes, we inher inherited the perot votes. >> interesting response, i think, on the question. i wonder how that would jive if we went out and asked 1,000 americans, whether that would be similar to what came out of this room. >> well, actually, i think again, when americans have complex feelings, the other way america works is they are the anchor for each party. the democrat party drifts this way and people pull them back. the republican party drifts this way, people pull them back. but what happens when each parties wins a wave election, they say, oh, they have a mandate. they want the real stuff, and each party gets to what it really wants to do, and they say, no, no, i didn't mean that far. there's a governor instinct in this country that is pretty
powerful. >> anyone else out here? >> another question from the ipad. >> oh, the ipad, great. >> it's its own question, so to speak. what are the chances that we have a woman president in the next election? successful in the next election? a question for both of you. >> well, there's only one answer, obviously. that would be hillary clinton. can hillary clinton win? the answer is, of course she can. she starts out with a tremendous advantage. neil asked just as we were coming on stage, last person we had with the biggest advantage going into an election year. that was ed musky. it didn't turn out quite a well for him. but what it really comes down to is that she'll have a tremendous advantage with women voters. she's going to have a tremendous advantage with younger voters. and she'll have an advantage
with minority voters. all three keys to the core of the democratic party. i think one question, and this is the one we'll be looking at. i think people see her as competent, and it goes back to the barack obama quote, and that is, is she likable enough? she starts out, i think, in a likable position. it will be interesting to see how those numbers -- that's the one i'll be watching in this campaign. >> should we go to the next or do you want to weigh in? okay. >> next question, this must be for both of them. can we get the air conditioning turned down in here? it's freezing. >> let's find who asked this. >> is that the consensus? we'll start a small fire in the back. >> we're glad that we stimulated this discussion. >> is there a fortune 100 ceo, this must be somebody trying to get a little bit of free polling advice in the audience, a
fortune 100 ceo who has the capabilities and fortitude to run for the presidential office? >> no. i have sort of a funny story. i have been doing all of john mccain raising since 1992, and i love the guy. we had a very high level, woman surrogate, who says in response to a q & a that sarah palin would never be hired as a ceo for a major company. the campaign manager called the woman surrogate goes back out and the next one, even john mccain, the point is that what ceos do and what you do to govern are vastly different skills. ceos are like generals. jur generals are lousy candidates. it's hard to be a candidate. the average ceo who despite their extraordinary gifts, are just not good at the sort of
give and take that politics requires, and negotiating with equal peers times 1 hundreds of people to get things down. >> eisenhower? >> well, again, in this way, he was sort of an unusual general. what did he do? he spent all of world war ii being the negotiator between the allies to try to get something done. i loved when he -- when he did d-day and signed all the credit goes to the troops, but he wrote that thing, if i fail, i take all the responsibility. that is a powerful story about a preparation for presidency that very few people get. >> i have another one from the ipad. anything from the audience? >> do you have a perspective on term limits? >> yeah. i do. terrible idea. and i'll tell you why. the theory is that, boy, that gives us new turnover. that's going to help. the fact of the matter is you wouldn't do it in business. if you've got a good business, you want a good leader to stay
in there. if you have a bad leader, you want to get them out. all it does is hand to professionals, it's a professional lobbyist and everybody else, all the power in washington. a terrible idea. >> i agree, you know, half the congress has been elected in the obama era. i did the tracking for the speaker gingrich in the '95 shutdown. i can tell you what happens in a shutdown. i remember that. there were very few people left in the house republican caucus who do. and absolutely there were term limits done. it has simply given more power to unelected folks. it's not worked the way people had hoped or desired. >> i have a question. businesses feel shut out of washington over the last several years. and alienated at various times,ivalified by washington. does that change in the midterm elections? does the sentiment, the engagement of business, the
concern about businesses' priorities, is that shifting in washington or are we going to see more of the same? >> i would tell you the biggest problem is confidence. and at this stage of the game, we measured it in a poll just recently, it was only for big corporations somewhere in the neighborhood of 17%, 18%. i think the good news is the news media was at about 14%. and when it comes to financial institutions, it's down almost in single digits. and so the idea that somehow business is not listening to the american people would say the american business is not listening to us. so there's a lot of preparing to do on both sides. >> bill, any thoughts on that? >> no, that's a good answer. >> thank you. please join me in thanking our panel. >> thank you.
coming up in about 15 minutes, we plan to take you to the white house where the president is scheduled to deliver a statement on the situation in iraq. it was pushed back to 1:15 eastern time. we should have that for you live on c-span3. a reminder, too, you can join the conversation, give us your reaction once you see the president's remarks on facebook and facebook.com/c-span, or on twitter using the hash ta tag #cspanchat. >> later this afternoon also at the white house, president obama will award retired corporal william kyle carpenter with the medal of honor. corporal carpenter, the ateth living rezipiant for actions in iraq or afghanistan. we'll have that ceremony live here on c-span3 starting at 2:15 eastern. and back on capitol hill, house republicans today are holding their party's leadership elections. this coming after a majority leader eric cantor's primary defeat last week. majority w.h.i.p. kevin mccarthy
of california is facing off against idaho congressman raul lab rudor. they will be done by secret ballot with the winner needing the majority of the caucus to win. it's scheduled to get under way behind closed doors at 2:00 eastern. our cameras are there just outside the doors. we'll bring you the results and of course any reaction as it becomes available. while we wait for the president's statement on iraq at 1:15 eastern, we show you more from the wall street journal conference with a discussion on cybersecurity with former nsa deputy director chris inglis. >> almost afternoon. i appreciate your willingness to engage on these issues. i guess i would just like to open it up with, if you could just scare everybody a little bit.